By Johnny Vowles, CEO of Expend
Sitting at a desk from 9 to 5 every day is no longer the default.
No matter what industry your business is in — be it recruitment, marketing, events, travel or consumer goods — chances are you’ll have employees working away from the office most of the time.
Whether they’re working remotely from home, holed up at a nearby Starbucks or hot-desking at offices around the country, people are never in the same place for too long these days thanks to the rise of flexible working. In fact, the last year or so has seen more than seven million workers across the UK changing company or department in a quest to find greater flexibility.
There are many benefits to having a remote workforce: increased productivity, happier employees, saving on office costs. Sorting expenses is not one of them.
All positive, right? Wrong. The dreaded need to keep track of expenses and ensuring they are submitted, reviewed and approved in a timely manner can be a challenging, time-consuming task at its best. Especially when independent research has shown 51% of UK employees have had to put expenses on personal credit cards or go into their overdraft due to expenses. So, when the majority of your employees are working remotely, tracking business spending and expenses can be even more of a headache. And that’s before you even start attempting to track their spending.
A seamless solution
If managed incorrectly, your remote workforce could end up costing your business big time in unnecessary expenditures. And there’s nothing like non-compliant invoices or insufficient records to kill your chances of seeing the money when it comes to filing business tax returns.
What’s more, inefficient processing of expenses can lead to a loss of goodwill and a lot of stress for both you and your staff. We all know how annoying it can be waiting for expenses to be paid back in — and, equally, how frustrating it can be when employees don’t submit theirs on time. Not to mention a worrying 1 in 6 employees have admitted during research that they would try to profit from business expenses if they could get away with it… So, it’s probably a good idea to eliminate the possibility of this occurring in your business.
So, to keep tabs on your remote employees’ expenses and ensure they are processed swiftly, you need a system that is easily accessible for everyone. An online expense management software combined with the power of prepaid business cards offer the perfect solution.
Through expense software, you can oversee spending across your entire business without any hassle. That includes the expenditure of your remote workers. Expend’s expense management platform enables you to set spending limits, track mileage and easily review, approve or reject expenses — as well as set up low-fund alerts and automatic receipt-chasing reminders. And thanks to its Xero and QuickBooks integrations, you can continue using it alongside the accounting software you’re familiar with.
What’s more, you don’t have to worry about employees forgetting to claim or losing the receipt either when they’re on the go. An expense manager app will allow remote workers to simply scan and upload the receipt from anywhere in seconds — enabling them to keep on top of their expenses on a day-by-day basis.
Once a receipt is uploaded, a manager can either approve or deny it. This allows you to see what your remote workforce is regularly claiming and to flag any inconsistencies or problems as soon as they’re spotted.
Prepaid cards created specifically for business expenses are also a great way to control and maintain real-time visibility over your remote employees’ spending. Expend’s prepaid Mastercard automatically tracks all outgoings, entering them into the system instantly whenever the card is used. So, you won’t even need to wait for employees to scan their receipts to be able to process them – harnessing great control over your company expenses and allowing your business to have a stronger outlook on the company’s financial planning.
Gaining a competitive advantage
With the right tools, expenses are simple. And with the right online software, the fact that your employees aren’t all working from the same office becomes a triviality. By effectively tracking and managing your remote workers’ expenses, you stand to gain a number of advantages.
Firstly, accuracy. Every time a reclaimable expense is incurred, it is crucial the associated receipts and invoices hold the right information. If not, there’ll be trouble from the taxman. Expend’s business prepaid Mastercards capture accurate transaction information instantly, right at the source — meaning there’s no chance of errors causing a problem further down the line.
This leads to the next point: cost. A prepaid card will allow you to keep an eye on budgets and control your remote employees’ spending — so there’s no chance of anyone going overboard. Plus, the quicker and more proficient the expense management process, the fewer people you’ll need to tackle the job. Meaning your employees can get on with doing other tasks which bring in money for the business instead.
Time is also a factor. Employees don’t want to spend an excessive amount of time recording every single detail of every single expense. Automating the process makes claiming expenses much more efficient. With employees submitting their expenses daily, admin also becomes much more straightforward — taking only a few minutes each day, rather than a whole week at the end of the month. Plus, the quicker expenses are submitted, the quicker employees will get reimbursed. With ⅓ of the independent research respondents stating they’ve had to borrow money from family or friends whilst waiting to be reimbursed by their company, this is an exceptionally important aspect of the current expenses charade your employees will thank you for… so everyone’s happy!
Finally, there’s the advantage of reducing paper waste. Everyone wants to help the planet and with online expense software and prepaid cards that allow remote employees to submit their expenses digitally, you can streamline a traditionally paper-intensive process whilst helping to reduce your waste – a win-win situation.
Moving with the times
With the rise of flexible working, it has never been more important to make the whole expense procedure not only possible remotely, but also efficient and hassle-free.
After all, if working ways are adapting and shifting, why wouldn’t you move with them?
At Expend, we’ve combined traditional expenses and spend management tools to provide your business with an unparalleled expense management solution, all in one place. So, employees can stay connected, and you can keep track of their spending — even when they’re on the go!